I'm in My Mid-20s, and These Are the 11 Summer Staples I Always Have on Hand


(Image credit: @anna__laplaca)

Now that I've hit my mid-20s, I think I've perfected my summer wardrobe. It's not to say that I didn't know what I was doing for all the years leading up to now, but looking back, I definitely spent much of my early 20s chasing after short-lived trends. I would spend a lot of my clothing budget on cheaper, inexpensive items that never really made it past a single summer, but there's something about hitting the latter half of this decade that's made me think more critically about my wardrobe. I've realized that despite whatever trendy items I will inevitably want to try, I always come back to the same few staple pieces that only seem to get better with time.

Now that summer is more or less here, I've been taking my warm-weather wardrobe out of storage and it's made me realize that the following 11 pieces really are in it for the long haul. Of course, everyone's staples will look different depending on your personal style and other factors, but if you need a bit of inspiration to refresh yours, then look no further. My style and budget may have evolved since I turned 20, but I'd say that the below summer staples haven't. I'd even venture to say that they'll remain relevant into my 30s, too.

Classic Denim Cutoffs

It just doesn't get any more timeless than classic denim cutoffs. I always go with a style that hits slightly higher on the waist and at mid-thigh.

Cropped White Tanks

The wardrobe basic to end them all, if you ask me.

Triangle Bikinis

As much as I love a good swimsuit trend, there will always be a place in my collection for a few classic triangle bikinis.

Easy Minidresses

I call these my "throw on" dresses because they're so easy to toss on with sneakers, sandals, or flats.

Athletic Shorts

Whether I'm going on a run or running errands, lightweight athletic shorts have become a constant in my summer rotation.

Low-Heel Sandals

Easy, walkable, and cute—what more could you ask for?

Camp Shirts

The least boring wardrobe staple imaginable.

Printed Scarves

The styling possibilities are basically endless, including wearing one as a bandana or tying it as a tube top.

Trendy Sunglasses

Summer is when my style gets the most experimental, and a pair of trendy sunglasses makes any outfit that much cooler.

Bucket Hats

Once a trend, now a full-blown staple.

White Jeans

While I don't abide by the rule that you can't wear white after Labor Day, I definitely wear white denim a lot more in the summer months.

Up next: Summer Sets: The Easy, Comfy, and Cool Trend Everyone's Vibing With RN

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.